Female Representation in Kenyan Boardrooms Exceeds Global Average

The 2021 Board Diversity and Inclusion Survey Report explored diversity beyond gender and age to other variables such as education, professional background, nationality, ethnicity and religion.

Kenya has outperformed the global average in female representation in boardrooms according to the latest 2021 Board Diversity and Inclusion Survey Report.

According to data by the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), gender diversity in Kenyan boardrooms now stands at 36 per cent, a significant increase from 21 per cent in 2017. 

In comparison, the global average of women holding board positions stands at 23.3 per cent, up from 20.4 per cent in 2018.

The 2021 Board Diversity and Inclusion Survey Report explored diversity beyond gender and age to other variables such as education, professional background, nationality, ethnicity and religion.

The report further showed that women constitute 21 per cent of board chairperson appointments whereas the global average is 3 per cent.

“Amongst our respondents, women constitute 21% of the appointed board chairperson’s appointments whereas the global average is 3 per cent while female representation in C-suite roles in Kenya constitutes 37 per cent compared to 21 per cent globally and the average age of Kenyan board members is 47.6 years, down from 55.8 years in 2017,” KIM stated.

The survey was conducted by KIM in partnership with Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), New Faces New Voices (NFNV) and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).

“Today we celebrate the progress made to achieve 36% gender diversity in Kenyan boardrooms however there is much more to be done to achieve parity. Holding companies to a universal standard aligns the global gender equality movement and allows the adoption of best practices to demonstrate progress and a comparison against international benchmarks,” said Makena Mworia Andia Chakava and  Interim Chair Chair Emeritus New Faces New Voices Kenya New Faces New Voices Kenya.

In Africa, Equileap 2019 report revealed that Kenya had the highest female representation in the board, at 23 per cent, while the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2019 report showed that South Africa had 21 per cent representation of females board membership.

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